New store will facilitate structure-based design and virtual screening programmes and accelerate confirmation testing of hits from HTS at pharmaceutical company
RTS Life Science's success in the USA continues with the award of a contract to supply OSI Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company, with a Compact Store and automated picking area.
Delivery is expected to OSI's Farmingdale R and D site on Long Island during the first quarter of 2004.
Director of leads discovery at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Michael Boisclair, commented: "This new store will represent a significant advance in our focused screening programme.
"Once the RTS store is installed, we expect to be able to cherry pick compounds at ten to 30 times higher daily throughput than can be achieved by our current semi-automated process.
"The new store will facilitate our structure-based design and virtual screening programmes and accelerate confirmation testing of hits from HTS".
The Flexpicker robot, working with the Gudel store robot under RTS's d-Sprint software, are the keys to the system's speed.
This system will also boast two unique features.
Neil Kelly, RTS's project manager, explained: "We have designed a special tray which increases accuracy at the same time as decreasing the spaces between tubes.
"We have achieved this by designing a high density tray capable of holding 2004 1.4ml ABgene tubes.
"The tubes are secured and accurately located owing to the profile of the tube and the tray. "Rather than use robotic grippers to lift the special racks off the conveyor, we have designed a pneumatic actuator, which allows the racks to be automatically retrieved by the Heraeus carousel.
"It is a simple solution, working rather like a diving board.
"Our experience as integrators has proved that some of the simplest ideas are the best."